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Why the Cowboys hold training camp in Oxnard, California

We take a look at why America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys, hold their annual NFL training camp in Oxnard, California instead of their native state — Texas.

Dallas Cowboys players huddle on the field during training camp at River Ridge Complex on August 3, 2021 in Oxnard, California Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

HBO’s Hard Knocks is officially back, reminding us that the 2021 NFL season is just around the corner. Episode 1 of the five-part series premiered Tuesday night on HBO, offering viewers their first look behind the scenes at the Cowboys training camp in Oxnard, California.

Here we’ll take a look at where the Dallas Cowboys are holding training camp this season and why they elect to leave Texas each off-season for their program.

Where do the Dallas Cowboys hold training camp?

The Cowboys currently hold their annual training camp in Oxnard, California, which sits on the coast, about two hours out of Los Angeles (when accounting for horrific traffic). Their practice sessions take place at the River Ridge Playing Fields.

In the 2020 NFL season, the Cowboys held their annual training camp at the Ford Center in Frisco, Texas due to restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Jerry Jones was very happy that the team would be making a return to the camp for the 2021 offseason.

Why don’t the Cowboys hold training camp in Arlington?

There doesn’t appear to be an official reason that the Dallas Cowboys head to California each season for training camp. However, logistically, it’s hard to blame the team for seeking some more pleasant weather. Who in their right mind would want to train in the daunting Texas heat?

For comparison, as of Tuesday, August 10th at 5:00 p.m. ET, the temperature in Arlington, TX sits at 96°F with 40% humidity and 15 mph winds. Oxnard, CA sits at a much cooler 71°F, despite more humidity at 64% and less wind at 10 mph.

Another note to consider on why the Cowboys train in California is the fact that they are “America’s Team.” Their large fanbase extends far and wide across the US (and beyond), and they gain yet another opportunity to engage with fans outside of the greater Dallas area. It’s a plus for the fans, and it’s a plus for the franchise from a PR perspective.